Talented sprinter Lord Of The Sky is set to start the 2014 Bletchingly Stakes as an extremely short favourite, but trainer Shawn Mathrick believes that consistent mare Gig is capable of scoring an upset win in the Group 3 event at Caulfield tomorrow.
There is expected to be plenty of early speed in the Bletchingly Stakes, with Nearest To Pin and Thiamandi set to put the pressure on Lord Of The Sky in the early stages of the race and Mathrick is hoping that a suicidal early tempo will give Gig the opportunity to finish over the top of her rivals.
“I reckon there is a couple of horses that will want to go forward and if she keeps running the way she has been running she will give it a good shake,” Mathrick told AAP.
Gig will be dropping back in distance in the Bletchingly Stakes on Saturday and will be running over 1200 metres for the first time since he finished sixth in the Group 1 Robert Sangster Classic (1200m) at Morphettville on April 26.
Mathrick admits that the drop back in distance from Gig’s last start in the Listed VRC-CRV Winter Championship Final (1600m) at Flemington a fortnight ago is a slight concern, but he is confident that the Commands mare will still perform well over the sprinting trip.
“The query is going to be coming back from the mile to the 1200 metres but she is well,” Mathrick said.
“We think she is a 1200 to 1400-metre horse anyway.
“We stretched her out to the mile and it didn’t work as well as we thought.
“She still ran super, but she just didn’t have that ping that she has off a quicker speed.”
Gig has not recorded a race win since she took out the Riverside Handicap (1400m) at Flemington on New Year’s Day, but she has performed consistently against good company at the highest level of racing throughout what has been a lengthy campaign.
The five-year-old made her Group 1 debut in the William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on and finished a credible sixth and was far from disgraced in both the Robert Sangster Stakes and the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) at Eagle Farm on June 21.
Lord Of The Sky remains a dominant favourite in 2014 Bletchingly Stakes betting markets at a quote of $1.60, while Gig is available at the generous odds of $14 to score a maiden win at Group level.